Recently, I’ve learned that one can turn a huge corner by making simple positive change. Now there are some out there that are change magnets (sometimes disguised as high-price “consultants”). You know the type that want it to always be bright, new and shiny and they spend hours, weeks, months coming up with fantastical big ideas only to never be able to implement them. Once you dig down into the recommended change you find hidden higher costs, no research was done and there are no resources to handle the new format.
That’s not me. I’m a blend of believing the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and buying into the spirit of evolving change. If something is great and efficient, I don’t want to waste even seconds analyzing it. If something isn’t working so well, then I’m all in to evaluate, hatchet and retool until we make it right.
So my simple change was the implementation of some great tidbits picked up from this year’s Antioch Writers’ Conference. Funny how that works—actually doing your notes instead of letting them sleep buried on the page only to be found at next year’s conference. One idea was to keep a small writer’s notebook at all times. Stupid simple, right? Now I had a larger, journal-size one in my writing bag at home, which I used to take notes in classes, list books I want to read, note ideas for future stories/essays and even capture first lines. But hanging out at home wasn’t quite helping since things hit 24/7 and the muse has a great trick of erasing the short-term memory file of inspiration. Now I have a cute little 5×4 inch, 130 page journal that rides along every day.
The other tip goes to the quote above. While bursts of divine inspiration are great, it is the steady practice and time put in that leads to regular streams of creativity. Did I make time for writing? Yes—stolen moments. Was it regular in the full balance of my life? No—the busy “other stuff” and sometimes even me, myself, got in the way.
What’s changed? I didn’t create a magic pill that allows for safe existence on no sleep (to better use the seven to eight hours I’m told one needs). I didn’t drop out from society to sit in a coffee shop corner churning out verse. I just needed a mind shift to help writing have a more balanced place. Just the simple purchase of that journal gave me a place to better capture all of the ideas that hit, including for a blog. Capturing the ideas that hit inspired me to start a blog. Drafting the blog ideas inspired me to think about some for longer essay pieces. The regular writing each day (even if not posting) has churned up some short story ideas. And so on and so on.